ICAST 2017; The old saying “like a kid in a candy store,” perfectly describes the feeling one gets as they walk through the doors at The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades; better known as ICAST. The world’s largest sportfishing trade show and the premier showcase for the latest innovations in fishing gear, accessories, and apparel.
This year old friends, new friends, competitors, business partners, media outlets, distributors, and inventors came together from July 11th-to 14th at the Orlando County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida to celebrate the 60-year anniversary of ICAST.
They did not disappoint, with over 500 exhibitors and 1,982 booths that covered almost 200,000 square feet of show floor, there was something for everyone.
A little different than the rest of the week, several activities took place off of location. This year’s activities included:
The doors officially open and the fun begins. Once inside the convention center, a designated section of the show floor is set-aside for the New Product Showcase.
In 2017, 280 companies entered 1,263 products, accessories and apparel into 26 “Best of Category” awards. The award winners, which are voted on by the media and buyers for later announcing them at the Chairman’s Industry Awards Reception.
The products and curiosity are what draws people in year after year. It is a chance to see what is available and also gauge where the gaps may be in the industry. Most importantly, it provides an opportunity to put a face with a name.
To hear the stories in person and to genuinely feel the blood, sweat, and tears that lead to the final product. While sharing the love for the sport of fishing is what ultimately connects one another, it is the passion that separates them from the rest of the world.
Some people go home with a wish list; others go back with an incredible new product that they cannot wait to try. Others go home with a new distributor and mainly a way to connect to a new area and audience.
While one may ICAST leave there exhausted; many leave there re-energized and excited for what the future holds.
At ICAST, business deals are done, hands are shaken, and business cards are exchanged.
ICAST will return to the Orlando County Convention Center on July 10th -13th, 2018. We, DRAFT LLC are already making plans to be there, and we hope to see all you there as well.